Friday, July 8, 2011

Column V2.4 - Now, Back to the Story 5/14/11

Alright, time to get back to the Porter-Cable/Delta story…no matter how sad it is. If I recall correctly, before the Great Computer Crash of 2011 we had just re-established the 1-800-223-7278 hotline center and its manager was the ex-Delta hotline Manager from Memphis. What a coup! She had her act together and getting her was the best hope for the success of this department.
As it turned out, things were not quite so rosy further up the food chain. The original Porter-Cable President – the one who had the responsibility to make this new “merger” work, and didn’t- lost his job around the end of 2001- I think. (dates do get blurred after a few years) Anyway, once he was gone, the search for another President got underway. After a period of searching, a fellow was selected that seemed to have all the answers. He was a motivator. He talked about how our recovery was going to be one that “books would be written about”. It sounded great. Our new call center was up and rolling and for a while, it looked like we might get the ship headed in the right direction.
That lasted a few months, maybe a little over a year and then the ‘new guy’ and our original VP of Human Resources were both cut loose. The “Word on the Street” was that Pentair (who owned the Tool Group) had discovered that the ‘new guy’ and the HR-VP were very fond of golf. Which in itself is not a bad thing at all- I enjoy it myself – However, when your company is still floundering around and not making the money that it’s owners and shareholders expect, it’s probably not too wise to take a golfing trip to Europe..and have the company pay for it. Again, “Street Word” was that there were more than one excursions of this nature and it cost both of them their jobs. So, here we are again…leaderless and floundering. It’s Déjà vu all over again and we’re searching for another President.
To backtrack a bit, Just before the “Merger” of 2000 Pentair ad purchased a Jackson Company called DeVilbiss. They make air compressors, portable generators and pressure washers. This purchase was intended to compliment Porter-Cable’s offerings of air-powered tools. Also, at the time of the purchase, the Y2K event had the sales of generators at an all-time high. Actually, it was the worst time ever to buy this company because their value was highly inflated due to all of the generator sales. Once Y2K fizzled out, we got thousands of generators back.. go figure..

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